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NORTH CORNWALL 'FORCED DISABLED INTO HOSPITAL CARE'

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North Cornwall DC's refusal to pay landlords a fee for counselling two disabled Bodmin residents forced them back i...
North Cornwall DC's refusal to pay landlords a fee for counselling two disabled Bodmin residents forced them back into costly hospital care, it was claimed in London's High Court.

Penelope Bateman, 24, and Keith Edward Barrett, 29, had to return to St Lawrence's Hospital at far greater cost to public funds after payments for the extra attention they required from their landlords were blocked, the court heard.

A third man, Mr David Singer, 34, of Tremanse Guest House, Bodmin, also had funding refused for counselling by his landlady but she allowed him to stay.

All three are now challenging decisions of the council's Housing Benefit Review Board to refuse payments of around £30-a-week to each of their landlords. Lord Justice Roch and Mr Justice Sedley, reserved their decision in what is seen as an important test case and will now give judgement on Friday (November 26).

Miss Lorna Findlay, representing all three Bodmin residents, said they could care for themselves in the community provided their landlords gave 'general counselling and support'. But because that care did not take up most of the landlords' time - a requirement of Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987 for funding - the council refused the extra payments.
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